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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 13.djvu/471

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MONERA, AND THE PROBLEM OF LIFE.

1. The genesis of the power of voluntary motion, or its differentiation from some mental power which preceded it; and how it was differentiated.

2. The evolution of the power of voluntary motion considered as an organic procedure in the entire animal kingdom, by which it was developed from its earliest genesis up to its highest capabilities in man, as the result of such changes in the faculty, from any cause whatever, as were transmissible and transmitted by inheritance.

3. The maturation of the power of voluntary motion considered as an organic procedure in the individual (man, for instance), by which it develops or ripens through the gradations of evolution independently of the operation of any external cause, such as education and experience.

4. The acquisitions of the power of voluntary motion, or whatever is added to the maturing or matured faculty, by which it is enabled to do with greater ease, freedom, force, or dexterity, what, without evolution and maturation, it could not do at all, and could never be educated to do.

In view of these obvious facts, were we to venture a criticism of Bain's celebrated treatise on the will, we should say that his method is defective, inasmuch as he has disregarded those natural and important divisions of the subject which we have pointed out, each of which requires a separate treatment. The careful reader will be able to discover not a little confusion in that treatise, and will be able to trace it to the fact that the distinguished author has treated as a unit things which are so dissimilar; and especially is this true of his method of dealing with maturation and acquisitions, by which the reader is led to believe that acquisition is maturation, and maturation is acquisition.

 

MONERA, AND THE PROBLEM OF LIFE.
By EDMUND MONTGOMERY, M. D.

I.—INTRODUCTORY—THE PROBLEM IN GENERAL.

OF late years the hypothesis of the gradual and continuous evolution of the universe and its parts has become the growing conviction of almost all scientific minds. The main drift of the new philosophy, the central aim of scientific exertion, is to establish by means of exact investigation the reality and true order of this natural development of things. After much anxious guess-work in which the emotions have been profoundly implicated, we begin at last calmly and positively to desire to know how deeply our existence is interwoven with the sensible world everywhere surrounding us. We wish to know whether we are, body and mind, the veritable heirs and trustees of these stupen-